lf2

After the sociopath: How do we heal? Part 6-Getting Over Not Being Angry

This article continues our discussion of anger as a stage of healing after a trauma or an extended trauma, such a relationship with a sociopath.

I have a friend who has been angry for all the years I have known her. She talks about being insulted or scapegoated at work, despite taking responsibilities well beyond her job title for the welfare of the company. She has been instrumental in eliminating several people who managed her. More people were hired and she is still talking about how she is mistreated.

I have another friend who calls me to talk about how his boss doesn’t appreciate him. He details how he has been swindled out of bonuses, how there is never a word of praise, despite the fact that his personal efforts have been responsible for major changes in the company.

Both of these two have been working for these companies for years and refuse to leave their jobs. Instead, they “practice” their resentments, gathering stories to defend their feelings, performing their jobs in ways that prove them not only blameless but deserving of praise, and sharing their grievances with anyone who will listen.

To prepare for this article, I had a conversation with one of them, who reminded me of when I was in a similar situation. Working for a CEO who refused to give me a title or credit for marketing work that put his company “on the map.” Since I left there, two other people have taken credit for my work in their resumes and public statements. Just talking about it with my friend brought up all the old stories related to the resentment and injury I felt at the time.

Embedded anger

Although these were professional situations, the feelings that my friends and I experienced were not different from the ones I experienced in my relationship with a man I believe to be a sociopath. Beyond all the usual feelings about lack of appreciation, acknowledgment or validation, these feelings had another characteristic. That is, we lived with them for a long time.

My two friends are still living with these feelings, and when I talk to them now, at least once in the conversation I suggest, “You’re an angry person.” Though I’ve said this to them before, they usually pause as though it were the first time they ever heard it. Then they either ignore it (because they don’t think of themselves as angry, only aggrieved), or briefly defend themselves against the comment, saying they have reason to be, before they start telling their stories again.

The fact is that they do have reason to be, as I did, but their anger is a lot older than their work situations. They were practicing it before they took these jobs. They were accustomed to dealing with people who triggered their anger, and they were accustomed to living in circumstances that made them feel hurt and resentful. They “handled it” by trying to do a better job, or getting into power struggles about what is due them, or by telling their stories to sympathetic friends.

What they were not accustomed to doing was deciding that their internal discomfort had reached a level where they needed to make a change. At least not before things got really, really bad. When they got sick. Or started blowing up over small things. Or got so stressed they began making mistakes. Or got in trouble with drugs or food or shopping to make themselves feel better.

It’s not just that they were habituated to abuse. They were habituated to living with old anger. They lived as a matter of course with resentments that would have made healthier people run for the hills from the situation that was causing their distress, or to reframe the situation as a temporary necessity while they searched actively for alternatives.

Paradoxical responses to abuse

A therapist once explained to me a “paradoxical response” observed in some victims of abuse. Rather than responding appropriately — either defending themselves or fleeing — they engaged in “caring” behavior. They became concerned about the wellbeing of the perpetrator, and began providing service to cheer them up or relieve their stresses. As all of us on this LoveFraud know, this response is based on our desire — no, our need — to believe that our abuser is really a good soul or that s/he really loves us or both.

Many of us are paradoxical responders. And what happens to those feelings of anger that we are not experiencing or acting on?

Until these relationships, for many of us, the question didn’t matter. Many of us also are high performers, the “success stories” coming out of backgrounds that might have turned other people into addicts or underachievers or emotional cripples. Instead, we develop a kind of genius at survival through giving. We believe in salvation through love, and we create our own success through helping professions of various sorts.

We do the same in our personal relationships, seeking emotional security by giving generously. We deal with the paradoxes of depending on people who are needy as we are, burying our resentments at their failures to understand how much we have invested or how well we are making up for their weaknesses or how, in arguments or in careless statements, they characterize us by our weaknesses.

When we do get angry, we express our grief at not being understood or appreciated, our disappointment that we are not getting what we hoped from our investments, our frustrations that the other person doesn’t perform the simple requirements of our happiness — a little more attention, affection or thanks. It doesn’t occur to us to rebel against the structure of these relationships, to say we are sick and tired of tiptoeing around their egos and their needs, because we feel we have no right to say these things. We are asking the same thing of them.

When we finally do walk away — from the job or the relationship — we have feelings we do not feel comfortable expressing. We discuss our past in understanding terms. We understand the other people. We understand ourselves. But deep inside ourselves, the thing we do not talk about is contempt. That emotion that is so close to shame. We feel contempt for their shortcomings. And because we too were in the room with them, we feel contempt for ourselves. And this is difficult to contemplate, much less talk about it. But like a song we can’t get out of our minds, this feeling is like a squatter we have trouble shooing away.

Emotional contagion

I know why these friends are attracted to me. I am a good listener. They also think I may have answers to their situations. But the more interesting question is: Why am I attracted to them? Why are so many of my friends people who see themselves as aggrieved, but who I see as people whose lives are shaped by a deep level of buried anger they don’t even recognize?

My conversations with them tend to bring up old memories of my own. In fact, these friends like to refer to my stories. Times when I felt badly repaid for good efforts. My girlfriend, in particular, who knew me through the years of my relationship with the sociopath and employment with that CEO, likes to bring up these stories and sympathize with me or offer advice. It’s what she wants from me, and assumes it is what I want from her.

But it’s not what I want. I get off these calls feeling my anger. Seeing it all again. And I do what I do with anger. I dive into it, searching for knowledge. I value the anger, because I have the habit of forgetting it, forgiving too soon before I really am finished with learning what it has to tell me. I’ve done the exercise so often now that I know what I’m going to find. First, I am angry because of what I lost — the investments, the time, the benefits I expected to get back. Then, I am angry with myself for not standing up for myself or exiting these situations when they became predictably abusive. Then I am angry at something I can’t name — My rules? My sense of the world? What is wrong with me?

Finally, I am visiting a place that I need to return to, again and again. It’s where I keep my oldest stories, ones I would probably not remember at all, except that my anger leads me to them. I see these memories like home movies played on an old projector on a raggedy old screen. I watch a bit of myself as a child, dealing with some situation that changed my understanding of the world. In the background, there is a calm voice saying, “Do you remember what you learned here? Here is the new rule you made for your survival. And here is how the rule affected your life.” And suddenly I am flying through the years, seeing how that rule played out, linking cause to effect, cause to effect, over and over. Until I am finally back in my here-and-now self again, aware that another “why?” question has been answered, another connection made that makes sense of my life, another realization that I can undo that rule now. I’m not a child anymore.

Difficulties with anger

Many, if not all people who get involved with sociopaths have difficulties with anger. We don’t welcome the message from our deeper selves. We don’t recognize it as something that requires immediate attention and responsive action. We don’t communicate it clearly with the outside world. We frequently don’t even consider ourselves angry until so much emotional response has built up that it’s eating us alive. We don’t recognize irritation, frustration, resentment, confusion, hyper-alertness and anxiety as feelings on the anger spectrum — messages that something isn’t right.

This generalization may be too broad, especially for those of us have dealt with people who we think were completely plausible until the end of a long con. But most of us faced many circumstances in these relationships when our emotional systems alerted us that something wasn’t right. And instead of taking it seriously and acting on it, we rationalized it, using our intellects to talk ourselves out of our responses.

How would we have acted if we had taken our anger seriously? We would have expressed our discomfort. We would have demanded or negotiated a change in the situation. We would have said “I don’t agree” or “this doesn’t work for me.” We would have walked away. We would have made a plan to change our circumstances. We would have made judgments that something wasn’t good for us, and acted on those judgments. We would have taken care of ourselves — which is what anger is all about, taking actions to deal with a threat to our wellbeing.

Why we have difficulties with anger is something related to our own personal stories. It is a good idea to search our history for the day when we decided that it wasn’t safe to express or even feel anger, so we can undo that rule. We all had our reasons, good reasons at the time. Even today, there may be occasions when we choose not to express our anger, or to defer thinking about it until later. But eventually, if we’re going to get really well, we have to recover our ability to connect with our own feelings.

Mastering anger

For those of us who have difficulty with anger, there are several gifts we get from the sociopath. One is a reason to get mad that is so clear and irrefutable that we finally have to give in to our emotional system, stop rationalizing and experience uncomplicated anger about what happened to us. The other thing they give us is a role model of how to do it. Though sociopaths have their own issues with historical anger, on a moment-by-moment basis they are very good at linking their anger to the cause, recognizing and responding directly to threats to their wellbeing or their plans.

Beyond that, in the course of these relationships, a kind of emotional contagion affects us. By the time we emerge, we feel ripped off and distrusting. We are at the edge of becoming more self-sufficient than we have ever been in our lives. To get there, we have to move through several phases while we overcome our obstacles to learning. One of those hurdles is overcoming our fear of our own anger.

People who have been suppressing anger for most of their lives have reason to fear it. Once we finally get angry about something, once we recognize the validity of own emotional reactions, there is a history of moments when we should have gotten angry that are ready to move to the surface of our consciousness. We are afraid that we will be overwhelmed or that, in our outrage, we will destroy everything within our reach.

Here is the truth. We will stop feeling angry when we acknowledge our right to feel angry in each and every one of these memories. That self-acknowledgement is what our emotional system wants. The message is delivered, and we naturally move on to what to do about it. If the circumstance is long gone, the simple recognition that we had a right these feelings is often enough to clear them.

The other truth is that we will not remember everything at one time. Once we allow ourselves to have these feelings, there will be an initial rush, but then the memories will emerge more gradually as we become clearer about our need for respectful treatment or about our grief at something important we lost.

Beyond recognizing that we were entitled to have our feelings, another thing we can do to clear them is have conversations with the causes of these feelings. We may want to speak to people, alive or dead, face to face or only in our journals or our thoughts, to say that we do not condone what happened to us. That we have feelings about it, and we want those feelings recognized.

We may think we’re looking for apologies, but the real benefit of these conversations is that we are validating ourselves and our own realities. We are getting real with ourselves. Eventually some of these conversations often turn out to be with God. Don’t worry about it. God can handle our feelings. Even the Buddhists encourage experiencing this human incarnation fully through all your senses and feelings.

The goal here is to clean house emotionally, so that you can experience anger in the here and now that is not tainted with old anger. So that you can plan and live your life in ways that are not unconsciously shaped by anger, fear and grief. Mastery of anger begins with the ability to link anger to cause, instead of expressing deferred anger in situations that really have nothing to do with it. Perfect anger is like the tit-for-tat strategy. It’s an appropriate and measured response that is equivalent to the threat or the trigger.

Beyond that, anger clearly felt in all its subtleties and permutations opens a new world to us. We find a new range of speaking voices — snappish, impatient, cold and unsympathetic. (Sound like anyone you know?) All things we need to deal with certain situations. We find new facial expression and body language. In allowing ourselves to become judgmental about what is good for us, we become more grounded about who we are and what we need.

Most important is that anger opens our ability to become powerful in our own lives. Without the ability to respond to threats and obstacles, we have no ability to envision and plan our lives. Anger is not only the voice of what we don’t want, it’s is also the voice of what we do want. What we want badly enough to work for, to fight for, to build in our lives.

Later we will talk about eliminating the residue of anger, learning how to forgive. But for now, our work is to link cause to effect, to honor our feelings, and to become real with ourselves and our world.

Namaste. The calm and certain warrior in me salutes the calm and certain warrior in you.

Kathy


Comment on this article

490 Comments on "After the sociopath: How do we heal? Part 6-Getting Over Not Being Angry"

Notify of

Bravo Kathleen! Everything you said resonates within my very being. I have asked all of the same questions, “What is wrong with me? why do I attract the people”…etc. The getting over anger too quickly….What I refer to as “smoothing over”. I did learn that early in childhood. Sometimes “people-pleasing” is just a familiar jacket that we put on in childhood and wear into adulthood. I learned to “anesthetize” my anger toward my alcoholic Dad and “smoother-over Mom”. I heard all of the excuses of why I shouldn’t be angry and convinced myself that it was not safe to express anger. So I smoothed it over.
You are right- we do receive gifts from dealing with a Socio-path. We learn to stand up for our selves and all about setting boundaries. If you can not set and keep firm boundaries, you will always fear the added responsibility that comes with more success. The cost of not standing up for yourself and not identifying your anger are significant. Each time you neglect to ask for what you need, or to confront someone who treats you poorly, you chip away at your confidence and self-esteem. Your emotional well-being suffers as you stuff your feelings inside and beat yourself up for what you should have said or done. If you keep putting it off you just increase the chances of it happening over and over again. Taking a stand has less to do with a specif situation you’re facing and more to do with raising the level of your feeling of self worth. Setting boundaries will increase your confidence and self-esteem. It will assist you in your anger issues. You will have much less to be angry about for one. Namaste, Calm and CERTAIN Warrior….Take care

I hope everyone is watching the scam on the home loans on DATELINE tonight. OMG, OMG, OMG … what a bunch of crooks … and their mortgage companies were giving them bonuses for how many sliding mortgages they can lend out.

All a bunch of Bernard Madoffs.

I am angry. I am angry that my husband has moved on to another family. I am angry that his friends, co-workers and family think he is a great guy. I am angry about everything. I just got something from his lawyer that he wants to decrease the lawyer’s fees he was going to give me and he wants to take daycare from 60% to 50%. I sent him a very angry email last night and he responded back today with “ok.” That made me mad and then I thought, “to hell with him.”

I know this sounds morbid but I just made his obituary on the computer. I put a pic of him on it and wrote some things about him. I did not put a date on it. I am not that evil. But he is dead to me now. I printed it and put it under my bed. I can’t continue with this. I have been separated from him for almost 2 years next month. I refuse to let him have control over me anymore. I can’t let this anger kill me and then he will be writing my obituary for real.

I just turned it on Wini.

Thanks to lovefraud for all of the wonderful blogs and people who respond with wisdom and knowledge.

Another insightful, and very helpful article. There were so many times when I read it that I thought “yes…oh yes…exactly.” The last one on Anger, was fantastic, too. These are so helpful to me.

This section really resonated with me:

“A therapist once explained to me a “paradoxical response” observed in some victims of abuse. Rather than responding appropriately ”“ either defending themselves or fleeing ”“they engaged in “caring” behavior. They became concerned about the wellbeing of the perpetrator, and began providing service to cheer them up or relieve their stresses. As all of us on this LoveFraud know, this response is based on our desire ”“ no, our need ”“ to believe that our abuser is really a good soul or that s/he really loves us or both.”

This is one area now in which I can quickly feel anger – when I think about all the times I was nice to him, and essentially became a therapist/mother to him while he was becoming more and more abusive. I want to go back in time and punch him in the face instead. That would be the appropriate response. And I do feel contempt for myself for behaving in a caretaking way instead. And I promise myself I will never do it again. I feel like I couldn’t behave like that again, that my body would not allow it and I would (sorry graphic) vomit on myself and the other if I began to say caring words to someone who was abusing me. I will not allow myself to do that again.

On a very positive note, I can count several occasions in the past month, including today, where I got appropriately angry with someone else, and expressed this anger. It wasn’t perfectly expressed all the time (what would that be?) but it was expressed well enough that it was authentic, got my point across, and resulted in a good outcome for me. I feel like I have taken care of myself rather than betrayed myself. It feels wonderful and does terrific things for my self esteem.

I still feel anger at him, but it takes up considerably less of my time and rents much less space in my head. But every now and then I feel like calling him or email him and just spewing my anger all over him and am angry that I didn’t do so when I should have. I won’t…and that’s okay…the triumph is that I’m out. And I am so much better. I have actually been feeling good for days and weeks in a row.

Hello and much love to the LF community. I still read every day and send cyber support and hugs your way.

I am angry tpp – but under my skin – it is deep down somewhere in me and comes out when I get frustrated – but the anger belongs to him- and I can’t do anything with it.

Today – I had to go over papers for settlement and I found out he has been on personal dating sights for years in addition to his known affairs.

So – how do I delal with this now???

Two or three of us at a time – and we weren’t enough.???

He was on websites for marrieds and others.

And I had kept a journal – so now I can match up his whereabouts to what he told me.

Two visits to the florist for Valentine’s day – how nice!!!!

Not that it matters now – but I think I still need a kick in the ass now and then to see him for who he is….

Where is the rage I should feel – I feel sick, nauseous, disgust and pain – am I in shock????

This shouldn’t surprise me – should it????

Mine was doing all the same stuff, Newlife. It’s unfriggin’ believable. They are so sick. I remember so many times I confronted him on “where were you?” and he told some bullsh*t story and then tried to make me feel crazy for thinking he was cheating on me. He was often successful and I would apologize for being a jealous psycho. Each and every time I was right on target. There was not one time that I confronted him that I wasn’t right. And there were so many other times, too. SO MANY. It’s hard not to be enraged because the behavior is so outrageous. But they are sick, sick, people, and are not at all like us. It’s impossible for us to understand their illness. And as hard as it is to get this (I mostly can’t), it’s not personal, and has nothing whatsoever to do with us. They would behave exactly the same way with any one. There is no woman who would not be cheated on in exactly the same way.

hey guys trying to find someone who is blogging. I did a really stupid thing tongiht , i came home from a coffee house with a gf and her husband, while we wre in there we saw a couple that had an arranged marriage fr Greece, she from Greece and they have been married for years and he adores her and treats her wonderfully according to my gf and i thought how great it was. Then i came home and called the s call blocking my number and he answered with his usual diplomatic “YEAH’ like he thinks its’ appropriate to answer any way he pleases and i hung up. sunday nights have always been a trigger for me but i was doing so well and actually hung up on him approx a week ago as i was so stressed over finances and angry and could finally assert myself. After i called i said a prayer to God as i’ve been doing to please take away the compulsion or desire to have any contact or want to be with him. I don’t know if im teasing myself or if it’s just plain loneliness. kindheart

I’ve done that exact same thing……….I did it several times over a couple of weeks and then realized it was just bad news…just triggering. Forgive yourself…its a very natural thing to do, Kindheart…just try not to do it again. His voice is a trigger. You realize this, of course, and it sounds like you are reaching out to God for help – which is perfect. And God works through the folks at LF. Don’t be too hard on yourself, forgive yourself, and just try not to do it again!

Your prayers will work, KH. You can ask God to take away the pain and then let the pain out, as Henry said on another thread. Sometimes you have to get to the point where the pain is unbearable. You can talk about it here too. This is a very safe place and we care about you. You do not need this man in your life to feel loved and cared for. You are truly not alone. (((sending big hugs)))

Brilliant insight. This helps clarify some things for me that I was kind of thinking, but had not put into words and helps me to understand myself better– why I may have been attracted to this relationship and how I have learned from it and grown as I needed to. I think I am slowly getting to the point that I can see it as a gift since I survived and grew from it in ways that might not have been possible without the pain.

“A therapist once explained to me a “paradoxical response” observed in some victims of abuse. Rather than responding appropriately ”“ either defending themselves or fleeing ”“ they engaged in “caring” behavior.”

Huge bells when I read that! It brought me such relief. I can travel back to specific incidents when my alcoholic Dad and enabling Mom harshly punished me for expressing quite natural anger on any level. Anger was “a sin,” and girls and women who are angry aren’t “natural.” Even typing that, I feel…GRRRR!!!

That “deer caught in the headlights feeling,” of dealing with my drunk Dad, who was the only one allowed to feel anger, much less express it, realizing that only by remaining calm could I hope to protect my Mom and myself. Later, the horrible burden of “niceness” from which “ladies” never waver. And of course, as an RN, one is never angry. Right.

Just watched my cat Ping get a mad on with his brother, Max. Ping raised his paw, laid his ears back, and smacked his brother on the nose. Hard. That was it: cat justice, the end of Max bothering him, and end of Ping’s anger. They both knew where they stood without a doubt; two minutes later, cuddle-fest. Wow: healthy anger. Ping protecting himself: expressing his feelings, getting his needs met, and then he was done. No endless torment or worrying that his anger was somehow “wrong.” I realize I internalized my parents’ and culture’s disapproval so intensely, this “anger is a sin” idea, that I even lost the ability to feel healthy anger towards myself! The little “Hey, Betty! Are you gonna just take that? Move it!” that leads me to take action for myself. I’ve really missed that.

At the heart of it, emotion is energy, and anger is strong energy. When you experience it, in the ways Kathy writes so well about, it actually brings you to action and to healing. It’s the other kind, the grinding, brooding, resentful kind, that has no resolution so that you stay stuck in it, that takes you down. I really, really don’t need that.

Over the past couple of months that I’ve been reading Lovefraud and journaling like mad, my emotions have come trooping back like long lost friends. Not all of them were initially welcome, most notably the “yechy” ones like irritability, but I’ve been getting reacquainted, and it’s been good. It’s pretty noisy round here, because I’m libel to go through the entire set of them in a day, and (contrary to what my parents might have thought) it’s just fine. Feels like life.

Newlife: Have you ever looked at the PCL-R? The diagnostic tool used to determine whether someone is a psychopath? I don’t know if your S/P matches up to a bunch of the traits, but you can look at the list and rate him 0, 1 or 2. This is supposed to only be used by a trained clinician, but I think we can make pretty good estimates from what we know. A score of 30 or more, out of a possible 40, is considered psychopathic. Repeat criminals who are NOT considered psychopathic tend to score about 22, which is to say they are still pretty scary.

If you were dealing with someone who scores pretty high on this scale, you choice to not lash out in anger may have protected you, because you were dealing with a seriously disordered person.

To my mind, anyone who is juggling that many women and that much trouble is a scary person anyway.

Kathleen is so right that we need to honor this anger, but I see it as a tool for us to use to understand our own processes. We have to remember that most of these losers we got snagged by are just not the kind of people you can talk with, negotiate with, or even safely get angry with.

Nic: I love the obituary! Let’s see, did you mention that he was “larger than life”? That his expertise covered more areas than could be covered in the single full page that the newspaper was willing to give you? Did you remember to mention that he was a Navy SEAL? That he liked to “spread his love around”?

I truly hope you can laugh. He sounds like such a sorry excuse for a human, I look forward to hearing that you are finally free of him. And I think your obituary idea is a brilliant exercise for you to get over him.

Kathleen: “Anger . . . is also the voice of what we do want. What we want badly enough to work for, to fight for, to build in our lives.” That is a rallying cry!

Thank you for another thoughtful travelogue to guide us on this path of healing. I really had not claimed that positive power of anger. This may be what I need to practice this week — tapping into that profound energy so I can apply it in positive ways.

Kathy- I wanted to sit down and read this article when I could give imy undivided attention to it. It was worth doing so. I have such a long list of SELF-IMPROVEMENTS and now I can add one more —

SELF ACKNOWLEDGEMENT.. Probably one of the most important ones in the actual healing process. Taking time to acknowledge that we have to deal with old anger (Be it childhood/careers/friendships/relationships) thereby no longer allowing us to carry it suppress it or transfer it to present day…

Doing so enables us to become powerful in the moment – with our feelings – especially getting angry in the moment – about the moment – ultimately protecting ourselves right there on the spot – no more rationalizing situations that otherwise deserve to be addressed with anger, and remove ourselves. All because we finally will become in touch with our feelings…up to and including anger.

Lastly – I witnessed the S be able to “speak up for himself” express his “anger” in perfectly healthy situations in daily life..with others… as you said recognizing and protecting their own well-being in moment to moment experiences. AND on the flip side, one dreadful night, I witnessed him unknowingly bringing “old anger/past rage” right into the room with us – his actions and reactions were so extreme -out of left field – I even said to him – whatever happened to you in your past is right here in the room with us right now – because the way you are punching the wall, and yelling, and raging – is so unwarranted toward me right now and you know it. He just said his heart was pounding out of his chest. And I knew I had to walk out the door that night. I was in shock.

But for me, self-acknowledgment is a new term and a new goal I must add to my Healing Journey list. This article was very helpful and brought insight to me about both myself and my extox in our unhealthy relationship. Thank you.

Thanks Kathleen, I love your articles. Expressing anger has come easily to me since the Sp came into my life. Every hateful thing that I have ever thought about him I was able to express. I gave wrath because he gave no answers. Or if he did try to explain it began with a lie that I knew was a lie which only made me madder. Now I am consumed by rage. At first I felt it toward myself and him. Now I feel it toward all the people in my life who taught me to devalue myself and my needs. Lately, My rage is toward my Mom who throws him and his whore in my face constantly, who invites crack addict relatives into our home when I have made it clear they are not to be trusted and are not welcome here, and who will not leave a room where I am doing something because she would rather stay and play power struggle games than respect the fact that I’m on a heart monitor and need to have peace and her very presence makes me want to hurt her. I may seriously need to abandon my home again and start my life somewhere else away from all my family because not one of them is healthy or functional in any way. I would take my kids of course but everyone else has to go. I know that it sounds drastic, and I can just hear the relatives talking about how sick and crazy that I am, but really making excuses for people just because they share a blood line is not something that I want to do anymore. I keep hearing that I’m nuts because of the ex and can’t move on. I actually think that the truth is that there is nothing to move on to in my present life except dysfunction without eliminating the root cause of all my issues, The Crazy Mom that had to always be accommodated because that was just her and she wasn’t going to change. I know that I must make changes for my health and for my kids who have come to hate their Grandma and just want her gone. Since I know that she will not willingly leave even though she cannot begin to afford this house alone and I can afford it without her, She will not let me win by going without a fight. So I will just have to plan to uproot the kids again to be rid of her. Wish me luck.

Wini,

I thought you might find these two links (one is a recent lecture) interesting in regards to the scams you have posted about:

http://www.michaelshermer.com/2009/03/the-art-of-the-con/

http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/487

BloggerT: Refresh my memory. What was I discussing at the time pertaining to scams???? I’m laughing because this entire site talks about how we were scammed by our EXs … in one way or another. As far as professional con artists in this world, these folks go against GOD and what God wants the best for us. Any of us that have worked out fears, frustrations, negative thoughts throughout our lives are floored when we find ourselves conned, on any level by those that are heathens (aka do not acknowledge, nor accept God) of the world.

I find it appalling that our EXs, the Bernard Madoff’s, AIG execs, the loan folks involved with the mortgage frauds and any other con artists of the world chalk it all up to the GREED of the victims! Give me a break here, the victims aren’t going out in the world scamming folks. The victims believe in fair play, love our neighbors, do unto others as we would like them done unto us are not thinking about GREED or any of the other connotations these heathens want to flippantly through back as a reason they do what they do. To flip the con artists GREED, insecurities, frustration, incompetence back on us is beyond logic of any decency. And decency dishonor, and the rest of the vices is what has them in the clutches. Stop blaming your faults on the victims.

If you look at who got scammed with Bernard Madoff were folks that wanted to invest their life savings to help them during their retirement years. Retirement years. They honestly worked, saved their money for their nest eggs … and this animal like Madoff used and abused their trust to scam them out of their life savings. These folks, along with some very notable names out there … are not walking around through life scamming people, they worked hard for their money too … to loose it to a heathen like Madoff who promised a few extra bucks than the banks were offering.

Give me a break here. How are decent God loving folks responsible for the heathens of the world that violate everything God stands for and wants for his children!

A big peace … and I’m taking big breaths now.

Wini – I agree with you. With the exception that what I falsely believed and what the victims falsely believe

The victims believe in fair play, love our neighbors, do unto others as we would like them done unto us….

But the REALITY is there IS EVIL in the world. So I can no longer take the approach or believe that THERE IS FAIR PLAY IN THE WORLD.

IMHO, IT IS THE S FAULT.. THE S IS 100% TO BE BLAMED FOR SETTING OUT ON THEIR JOURNEY WITH FRAUDULENT INTENTIONS, FILLED WITH GREED, AND INCOMPETENCE IN OFFERING UPSTANDING AND HONEST BUSINESS/RELATIONSHIP TRANSACTIONS. THE S IS TO BLAME FOR THAT 100%.

IMHO, THERE IS NO “BLAME” ON THE VICTIM. RATHER A LACK OF AWARENESS THAT YOU CANNOT BLINDLY TRUST PEOPLES WORDS..IF ITS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE…THAN IT JUST VERY WELL MIGHT BE.

AND SOMETIMES IN LIFE NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU DO AND TRY TO PROTECT YOURSELF – EVIL SEEPS THROUGH. YET, I CANT HELP BUT WONDER HOW MANY INNOCENT FAMILY FRIENDS AND MEMBERS JUST BLINDLY TRUSTED, BY WORD OF MOUTH, BY ASSOCIATION…WROTE CHECKS AND DID DEALINGS WITH MADOFF — WITHOUT EVER REALLY ASKING QUESTIONS, LOOKING INTO VALIDITY OF HIS OPERATIONS, AND PERHAPS AT TIMES QUESTIONED HIS ETHICALNESS, OR FELT SOMETHING WAS WRONG AND DIDNT ACT ON IT. THAT IS NOT BLAMING THE VICTIM, BUT IT IS SUGGESTIVE OF NEEDING TO BE MORE REALISTIC ABOUT TRANSACTIONS WITH OTHERS (BUSINESS/RELATIONSHIP) AND NOT RELYING ON FAMILY AND FRIENDS AND STRANGERS TO ENTICE YOU INTO A POTENTIAL “GOOD DEAL”…OR “A POTENTIAL “GOOD RELATIONSHIP”. POTENTIAL VICTIMS HAVE TO KNOW NOT ALL OTHERS ARE LIKE THEM OR HAVE THE SAME VALUES AS THEM. ETC. BUT IT IS NOT A BLAME THING ON VICTIMS. ITS A KNOWLEDGE THING. KNOWLEDGE IS POWERFUL PROTECTION.

Learnthelesson: I agree with you on the fact of knowledge is power, however, why our we twisting ourselves into pretzels over the heathens of the world and how they violate everyone on every level? Why are we not insisting these people are behind bars, off the streets not to attack and destroy the God loving people of the world?

We are being conditioned that these offenses aren’t punishable by prison terms because AIG con artists had a contract? Give me a break here … the Attorney General from Connecticut should insist on these CROOKS be placed behind bars for a long long time. Period. Enough of the criminals hiring high priced attorneys to figure out all the legal loopholes. These folks are vicious, remorseless crooks and criminals. Let’s call them by their true identities. Period.

Big business my foot. And those in Washington,DC (both parties) should hang their heads in shame…. for talking out of both sides of their mouths about all the scamming going on in our country. Who’s in charge here? Obviously no one in Washington DC. These politicians are beyond being jokes. I think it’s a free for all for all thieves to con anyone at any time and call it politics, or wall street, or the mortgage loan business scam. It’s shameful, without conscious, psychopaths in it’s full glory … live, on TV, every night … all talking nonsense and I have yet to see anyone have the backbone and God’s wisdom to stand up and insist these crooks, no matter what their titles go to prison for a long, long, long time.

Peace.

Wini – not sure if I was able to express myself the way I intended to ….

I can continue to believe in fair play, love my neighbors, do unto others as we would like them done unto us….etc.

BUT I HAVE TO DO SO WITH THE KNOWLEDGE AND AWARENESS THAT THERE ARE HEATHENS IN THE WORLD TOO! I can no longer live with the belief that everyone i meet, date, do business with and am related to is a decent good soul. I have to balance what I believe in with what I now know to be true — Evil people pretending to be Good people do exist! How will I do that?? Continue to read and learn… from books to the news… and continue to trust others, myself, my intuition but watch for red flags, too good to be true deals, gut feelings, and ask questions – and remove myself when Im aware something just isnt right. Will I experience evil again?? I imagine so… but on a much smaller scale..as I will now practice living with my new found knowledge and awareness that I am responsible for my choices (business/relationship) and for not getting involved with them haphazardly as well as ending them when Im aware they really are the heathens of the world.

I am angry that i have to live this way, but I am blessed that I now know too do so!!

Just read your second post now… Breathe with me Wini — Breathe!!!! LOL Im with you.. I get it… but I broke it down into the aspect of how I will incorporate it into my until the ways of the world/rules of the world/legal system in the world GETS IT RIGHT – and gets them all off the streets!!!

Learnthelesson: You explained yourself just fine. I’m concerned that these politicians today want to convince the God loving people of the world (who happen to pay their salaries), well it’s OK to scam and con cause the scummy attorneys have prestigious degrees from prestigious colleges, and are impressive, so the rest of you folks that believed in God, how our country was founded have to move your mindset that the HEATHENS of the world took over. Deal with it.

Shameful, shameful, shameful.

Wini – If I stop, really stop and sit down and think about it. I could cry. The world is a mess. A heaping heathen mess. But I have to believe goodness prevails, continues to prevails and will always prevail. The life lessons are the hardest. And I do wish there were more backbones in the world standing up for all the righteousness – but there is just so much historical wrongdoings – its seems unattainable at times.

For my part, I can continue to learn and make choices that God will always be aware of. And I can teach my children well – but also show them there is evil in the world – and help them to LEARN how to protect themselves while living as free-spirited as possible.

Your second post really hit home for me – about the way the world truly operates. :(( Thanks Wini

Learnthelesson: This is all due to ousting the teachings of God out of the school system. Why? Because the heathens of the world wanted it this way. If more people read the Bible and loved and respected God, this wouldn’t be happening today. Who better to educate humans then reading the word of God, living our life the way God directed us to do.

People spend thousands of dollars on their educations in a college in this world, yet they can’t bother to spend 20 minutes per day for the duration of their lives … to read a passage from the Bible and obtain some of God’s wisdom.

It’s beyond incredible. What are people thinking today.

Forget that last question, I don’t want to know any more how the heathens of the world are shoving their ignorance down our throats.

Peace.

Learnthelesson,
I don’t think any of us will be the same after the sociopaths in our lives. In spite of my horrible upbringing with abusive and neglectful parents, I still managed to believe in the inherent good of all people until I met the S. I will never be the same again. I’m much less trusting now.

“so the rest of you folks that believed in God, how our country was founded have to move your mindset that the HEATHENS of the world took over. Deal with it.” WINI

WINI – REMEMBER THE LESSON….WE DO NOT HAVE TO MOVE OUR MINDSET TO ANYTHING OTHER THAN THAT WHICH WE BELIEVE IN, KNOW AND TRUST IN OUR SOULS. WE DONT HAVE TO ACCEPT IT AND WE DONT HAVE TO DEAL WITH IT.

WE MAY HAVE TO MAKE OUR OWN CHOICE AND DECISIONS AND PRAY THAT GODS WAY OF BRINGING MORE AWARENESS TO THE THE FOLKS THAT BELIEVE IN GOD – IS BY EXPOSING THEM – FINALLY ONE, BY, ONE – AND CAUSING THE WORLD TO TAKE NOTE AND LEARN MORE AND MORE AND MORE ABOUT THE HEATHENS OF THE WORLD.

THERE IS A REASON FOR EVERYTHING – I SUSPECT IS JUST GOING TO TAKE A LONG TIME, AND BE A LONG ROAD—BUT GOD IS GOOD — AND AWARENESS IS FINALLY COMING TO THE SURFACE…CHANGE IS SLOW, BUT ANY KIND OF CHANGE IS GOOD!!!

HAVE A GOOD DAY WINI. I ENJOY YOUR VIEW/INSIGHT/COMMENTS VERY MUCH! THANKS

STAR, I HOPE NONE OF US ARE THE SAME AFTER OUR EXPERIENCE WITH THE S…OR WE WILL FIND OURSELVES WITH AN S AGAIN. I PREVIOUSLY WROTE ABOUT MY SADNESS THAT I CANT BE THE SAME TRUSTING ME, BUT I WANT TO BE A SMARTER TRUSTING ME WHEN THIS IS SAID AND DONE. I HAD TO CHANGE MY VIEW OF WHAT THE OLD ME WAS

There is another guy in my local reptile community who is a good friend of one of my friends. I recently spoke to the guy on the phone, and he seemed extremely friendly and nice (just like the S was when I first met him). Intellectually, I was thinking, wow, he’s disarmingly nice. But I am also very guarded now and don’t trust him. Just because someone seems very open and friendly and says nice things doesn’t mean anything to me any more. I still need to get to know someone over time and see how they behave. The actions over time will pull more weight with me from now on.

ugh… i dont mean to write in caps… it truly is a pet peeve of mine…once i get going in caps, i get lazy. I must work on that flaw too:)) Have a good day everyone..

Star = I trust until i am given reason not to now. Before I continued to trust when I was given ENDLESS reasons not to!!!

I do to, to a point, LTL. But now I have a radar for people who are just a little too nice and a little too giving.

Learnthelesson and StarG: I’m getting my trust back into sync by reviewing what Gregory Dickow and the other ministries on line have to offer.

If you find yourself curious, check out Gregory Dickow ministries archives to “FASTING FROM WRONG THINKING” daily, simple steps ” step by step to change your life for the better ”. log on to his site, and you can retrieve the files.

His home page is as follows:
[email protected]

The archives for his FASTING from WRONG THINKING is below. You’ve have to verify your e-mail with him to get permission to access the archives.

http://fromtheinsideout.us/archives.php

It is very powerful reading.

Peace to your hearts and souls as you heal.

Star – I thought about that too. But it will depend on the situation for me. With regard to dating – absolutely! I want to continue to be a nice a giving person and I want to continue experiencing good and nice and giving people in my life. I cant imagine life not lived that way. I just have new boundaries in place, new radar, new self-trust…Im learning as I go to still trust..but to stop, change direction and leave whenever someone crosses my boundaries or simply makes me feel uncomfortable or way too good to be true!

Wini said: “I find it appalling that our EXs, the Bernard Madoff’s,… chalk it all up to the GREED of the victims!….. The victims believe in fair play, love our neighbors, do unto others as we would like them done unto us are not thinking about GREED……. To flip the con artists GREED, insecurities, frustration, incompetence back on us is beyond logic of any decency….. Stop blaming your faults on the victims.”

While the con artist is the one responsibilbe for the scam, and I don’t believe in blaming the victims either for the con artist actions, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that GREED on the victim’s part didn’t sometimes play a part in victim’s getting scammed by con artist. Although most of the victim’s in the Madoff case probably were innocent, I’d be willing to bet there were more than a few who knew he was getting ungodly returns on the money in comparison with everyone else and suspected he might be doing something unethical, but as long as they were getting their share of the profits they didn’t give it too much thought or care as long as the money was rolling into their pockets.

In the book “The Psychopathy of Everyday Life” by Martin Kantor, M.D. he has a list of some qualities in victim’s that sometimes make them susceptible to psychopaths.

He says that sometimes victims own acquisitiveness and pleasure-orientation can lead them to condone lying and cheating in others AS LONG AS THEY ARE SHARING IN THE SPOILS.

He also lists TOO GREEDY as a victim trait that can get victims into trouble with psychopaths. He says that victims who “want it all” and have a bit of a dishonest streak in themselves can fall prey to a psychopath who “PROMISED TO HELP THEM FULFIL THEIR DESIRES”, and the victim falls prey even when doing so requires them to act in a psychopathic manner themselves.

IMO the con artist or sociopaths are the ones responsible for their actions, NOT the victims. But I also don’t view all victims as one step removed from Mother Theresa either.

Jen,

This lecture talks about another aspect of what you are talking about. http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/487

And this article called The art of the con says:
http://www.michaelshermer.com/2009/03/the-art-of-the-con/

Greed and the belief that the payoff is real also led high-rolling investors to fuel Wall Street financier Bernard Madoff’s record-breaking $50-billion Ponzi scheme in which he kept the money and paid an 8 to 14 percent annual annuity with cash from new investors. As long as more money comes in than goes out, such scams can continue, which this one did until the 2008 market meltdown, when more investors wanted out than wanted in. But there were other factors at work as well, as explained by the University of Colorado at Boulder psychiatry professor Stephen Greenspan in his new book The Annals of Gullibility (Praeger, 2008), which, with supreme irony, he wrote before he lost more than half his retirement investments in Madoff’s company! “The basic mechanism explaining the success of Ponzi schemes is the tendency of humans to model their actions, especially when dealing with matters they don’t fully understand, on the behavior of other humans,” Greenspan notes.

Just like the other guy in Texas who was offering CD’s with unrealistically high return rates but was scamming folks. If it looks to good to be true…

Jen2008: Madoff only pleaded guilty … go directly to jail … so that he didn’t have disclose all those that were in on the ponzi scheme, including his wife, his sons, the others in his organization, bank presidents and CEOs …

In my opinion, they should start clearing out cells for those heathens too.

Oh, and just let the jerk out until his scheduled sentence date … he’ll do suicide quicker than I can type this e-mail to you. Same way to check out like Ken Lay. Speaking of Lay, did the courts get the widow to fork over the millions her husband scammed?

What a world. I’m just shaking my head. We should change the name of our country to “Heathens Haven” instead of USA aka … United Scam Artists.

Good grief Charlie Brown.

Peace out.

In the book “The Psychopathy of Everyday Life” by Martin Kantor, M.D. he has a list of some qualities in victim’s that sometimes make them susceptible to psychopaths.

He says that sometimes victims own acquisitiveness and pleasure-orientation can lead them to condone lying and cheating in others AS LONG AS THEY ARE SHARING IN THE SPOILS.

He also lists TOO GREEDY as a victim trait that can get victims into trouble with psychopaths. He says that victims who “want it all” and have a bit of a dishonest streak in themselves can fall prey to a psychopath who “PROMISED TO HELP THEM FULFIL THEIR DESIRES”, and the victim falls prey even when doing so requires them to act in a psychopathic manner themselves.” – JEN

WOW, WOW TRIPLE WOW!! Another book on my list. Thank you.

Kathleen Hawk, GREAT post!

Peace.

Learnthelesson: Then what of our EXs exploiting our love for them? Are we guilty of being selfish and greedy because we wanted to share our love and lives with someone … aka walking the path of life with another, helping, sharing, caring, loving, and all the good virtues in life that we are suppose to do with others?

I’m telling you, the heathens are running away with our country and twisting all decency in people into pretzels. Watch out, don’t step here, don’t talk with this or that one, don’t do this, don’t be decent, don’t trust, don’t love, don’t, don’t, don’t … turn yourself inside and out cause that’s the way it is.

In the old days, they stoned these jerks or at least let them go live in the woods to fend for themselves.

Wake up people … these heathens are criminals and they are turning our world upside down, inside out so they can continue their criminal activities without having to pay the ultimate price of spending their lives behind bars.

Period!

Kathleen – So when I say the old me would ” trust everyone beginning from hello til I ended up hurt. And so now I went to “trusting everyone until I was given a reason not to. But where I really need to be is ” withhold trust until its earned! Im not resistant to changing me at all – I just thought I was acutally making the right change by trusting until the moment Im given reason not to. But its more than that! Thank you.

Re: Changing the right way/for the better. How do I do that? Not be so friendly? Let them be friendlier first? Dont laugh here, I am sadly being very honest. Isnt it basically the same thing as trusting until a red flag appears – being given reason not to trust anylonger. Or is it that I must change the way I begin a relationship/a friendship. As I am always told you are way to friendly… I should be less a giver and more balanced with give and take. I ask this so diligently because trust has gotten me from both ends.. and something I need to really really LEARN. Ive either trusted too much… get involved… and then end up not trusting somewhere along the way… At times very warranted, at other times not warranted at all.

Wow, I missed some excellent posts. The thing that’s so creepy about sociopaths is that they are chameleons. I felt uncomfortable with mine the first day I met him. He was a little too nice and overly zealous about me. But when I asked him to tone it down, he did a 180 degree turn. The next time I saw him, I felt totally comfortable. You know how some people you just ALWAYS get a creepy feeling around? My S was not like that. He could morph into whatever I needed him to be, and he anticipated my needs without me even having to speak up. He was also a perfect gentleman at all times, even down to being very generous in bed (which I hear is unlike most S’s). It’s too bad this is such an anomaly and these guys are “too good to be true.” I wish more guys could be like this so we didn’t have to look for it in the dangerous types. In my dating experiences I find so few gentlemen left on the planet.

WINI “Then what of our EXs exploiting our love for them? Are we guilty of being selfish and greedy because we wanted to share our love and lives with someone ” aka walking the path of life with another, helping, sharing, caring, loving, and all the good virtues in life that we are suppose to do with others?

No we are not guilty = we are innocent in the way our Exs exploit our love for them.

But I was not knowledgable enough Wini. Not knowledgable enough with boundaries, trust, fantasy vs reality and not knowledgable enough about the existance of heathens. Because the truth was I was walking the path of life with a heathen — not another who was , helping, sharing, caring, loving, and all the good virtues in life that we are suppose to do with eachother. At some point I became aware of his disorder, not initially, so I cant take the blame there – but at some point in the middle of relationship I saw the red flags – and for whatever unhealthy reasons of my own – I continued on the path with him until the end.

Some may be turned into pretzels. But Im not . Im learning and growing and changing myself for the better. To only attract and allow in goodness. And to stay away from evil. That is all I can do for now. I hope others dont make the choice to bow to them and recluse against everyone in the world. But rather self=protect, self=acknowledge, self-educate, self- respect , and self-trust themselves that they are going to walk the path of life a new and improved them and as such meet/attract gods good human beings in the world (not perfect– but good!:) The rest really should be behind bars – if only we were taking up space in the Whitehouse they would be where they belong!!! LOL have to run to school now. Thanks Wini

BloggerT,

Thank you for the two links. Under the article, The Art of The Con, I thought comment #2 by sheldon was also quite interesting. But I especially enjoyed the Ted.com video. It was very informative and thought provoking, not to mention the guy was a very entertaining and witty speaker. Jen

Send this to a friend